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Donald Trump should pay $83.3 million in damages

Written by on January 26, 2024

A jury said that Donald Trump should pay $83.3 million in damages Friday, an eye-popping sum that marks the sharpest legal setback for a former president now entangled in multiple criminal and civil cases while he campaigns for the White House.

The verdict was the second time over the past year that a jury has awarded E. Jean Carroll millions of dollars in damages from Trump for his defamatory statements disparaging her and denying her rape allegations.

But this verdict was on a whole different scale – awarding $65 million in punitive damages alone and a total dollar figure eight times higher than what Carroll initially sought in her lawsuit.

Friday’s verdict, while sure to be appealed, comes ahead of a judge’s expected decision later this month in Trump’s civil fraud trial that could threaten the former president’s business empire, along with the four criminal indictments that are awaiting trial and a US Supreme Court hearing on whether the front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination can appear on the ballot.

Here are the key takeaways from the defamation trial and verdict:

Another jury rules against Trump

Over the past year, Trump has railed against the prosecutors who have investigated and charged him, the plaintiffs who have sued him and the judges who have overseen his trials.

But the nine-person jury didn’t blink. It awarded Carroll $18.3 million in compensatory damages. It was the punitive damages, however, that landed Carroll such an astronomical sum: $65 million.

During the trial, Carroll’s lawyers told the jury that Trump should be punished with a large number in damages so that it actually gets him to stop his defamatory behavior.

“The law says you can consider Donald Trump’s wealth as well as his malicious and spiteful continual conduct,” Carroll attorney Roberta Kaplan said. “Billions of dollars is just a drop in the bucket for Trump.”

The verdict is significant not just for the monetary damages, but also for the message it sends that a jury of regular citizens did not believe Trump – not Democratic-appointed prosecutors or judges or the administration of his likely 2024 political opponent, President Joe Biden.




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